Send Out the Scouts
WHALES CAN BE DIFFICULT TO SPOT.
That defies logic. Whales dwarf every other animal in their world. Their hearts are the size of a Volkswagen. Ask anyone who has seen a breaching humpback and you will hear the description of an awe-inspiring event. Presumably, whales would be hard to miss.
Nevertheless, as ancient village scouts scoured the horizon seeking signs of approaching whales, the creatures could slip by undetected. Sliding up the chilly western coastline of North America, coming from their traditional winter homes in today’s Baja, California, the whales blended well into their environment. Even though spring was commencing as they made their journey north, the days were still short. Skies were overcast much of the day. Young scouts scanned a gray horizon—a gray ocean meeting a gray sky—searching for a gray whale. Often, a whale passed for a rock, a shadow, a mass of debris. So, despite months of village preparation, the huge mammals could move by undetected.
Will another whale come within range to save the village from a long year of hard work and hunger? Will another year of fighting to meet the minimal needs of the group prevent progress and growth? There are no promises. Every opportunity is crucial.
Yet when scouts miss the signs of an approaching ...